Soccer wins don’t get much more thrilling than the last-second magic cooked up by the Capilano Blues as they won the PacWest women’s championship final Sunday (Oct. 31) in Coquitlam.
The Blues scored last-gasp goals not once but twice on their way to a 2-1 overtime win over the Douglas College Royals, earning the PacWest title and a trip to the national championships.
Sunday’s championship showdown featured the two teams that were the class of the PacWest field all year, as both the Blues and Royals put up identical 7-1-1 records in the four-team league, with each team scoring one win, one loss and one tie against each other.
The final proved to be equally tight, with Capilano coming out strong in the first half, generating numerous scoring chances and dominating play. The Blues, however, couldn’t solve Douglas goalkeeper Elisha Machado, and it was the Royals who scored first with Christine Singh blasting a shot home 25 minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead.
The score stayed that way throughout the rest of the first half and most of the second half as the two teams waged an intense, physical battle. Capilano generated several more scoring chances but Machado stymied them again and again.
The breakthrough for the Blues finally happened with the game in injury time in the second half, and it came from a penalty kick called with nearly no time left in the game. Capilano’s Andrea Perrotta, a former Douglas College player, stepped up to take the kick and made no mistake, sending the game to overtime.
The game stayed tied through the first 15-minute overtime period and much of the second overtime frame, and the game seemed destined for penalty kicks. But there was one more last-minute miracle in store for the Blues, as Handsworth Secondary grad Aynsley Hurtado blasted in a shot from the top of the box in the 119th minute of the game.
From there, the final seconds ticked away and the Blues celebrated their first PacWest championship win since 2007, and the first title for head coach Dennis Kindel since he took the reins in 2015. The Blues won PacWest bronze in 2016 and three straight silvers from 2017 to 2019. Last year was lost to COVID, and this year the Blues won it all in dramatic fashion.
Capilano’s Catrina Olstrom was named the tournament MVP and top forward, while teammate Claire Ye earned the top midfielder award. Hurtado was named player of the game in the final.
The Blues also picked up a number of regular season awards, with Ye earning player of the year honours, Kindel claiming the coach of the year title, and Kayla Campbell picking up rookie of the year honours. Ye, Campbell, and Hurtado were joined by teammates Argyle grad Mya Fraser and Seycove grad Alanah Dulong on the PacWest league all-star team.
The Blues will now shoot for a national title at the CCAA championships, running Nov. 10-13 at Toronto’s Humber College. The Blues women have won five national titles in their history, all of them coming in a seven-year span from 1995 to 2001.